NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
The New York branch of Dutch bank ABN Amro has cut ties with nearly 100 banks in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean, according to a published report that says it faces probes by regulatory and law-enforcement officials into its dealings with those institutions.
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Federal Reserve alleged that ABN Amro was improperly moving funds of questionable origin through the financial system. The bank cut the ties with the overseas banks as part of an agreement the bank quietly signed with regulators in July, according to the paper.
"We can confirm we have closed a number of correspondent banking accounts during the course of the last two years," Steven Blaney, a spokesman for ABN Amro, told the paper.
"These accounts were held in many markets and the decision was taken for a number of financial and structural reasons," he added. "These include our business strategy, regulatory considerations and the closing of inactive accounts."
Blaney said the bank has responded to regulators' concerns, overhauling its compliance operations.
The paper said there has been increased concern about international banking transactions since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, and new laws requiring banks to know the identity of their customers and where their money comes from.
The paper said the crackdown is a blow to a struggling Russian banking industry, leaving many smaller Russian banks without access to the U.S. market and unable to conduct international transactions in dollars.